Invoking the spirit of 1957

I was in Form Three and the students of Batu Pahat High School were gathered at the school padang to hear the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, declare the independence of the nation.

Before reading the Proclamation of Independence, Tunku called on everyone in the new country, regardless of race or religion, “to dedicate yourselves to the service of the new Malaya: to work and strive with hand and brain to create a new nation, inspired by the ideals of justice and liberty — a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world”.

It was a new dawn for the country and everyone was excited by the new challenges for the country to take its place among the top nations in the world.

That was 66 years ago. Much water has flowed under the bridge. But the country has never been more divided than today and Malaysia has ceased to be regarded as one of the top nations in the world.

The Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim’s National Day Address could not be more apt when he said that Malaysia had a mediocre performance over the past 20 years and that the unity of among the races was especially important, with Madani government committed to uphold the rights of all citizens if Malaysia is to rise up again to become a great world-class nation.

The Anwar unity government is the only political coalition in the country which comprise political parties which are committed to the goal of Malaysia rising up again to be a great world-class nation.

As no other political coalition wants Malaysia to rise up again to become a great world-class nation, the Anwar unity government should be given four years until the 16th General Elections in 2027 before a judgement is made as to whether it has failed or succeeded in its task to make Malaysia one of the top nations in the world.

For the sake of the country, Anwar’s call for an end to the sowing of doubts as well as racial and political hostility should be heeded, and all energies devoted to one single task — to invoke the Spirit of 1957 for national unity for Malaysia to rise up again to become a great world-class nation.


(Media Statement by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang in Penang on 66th National Day 31st August 2023)

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